Picture Sundays: Save the Bees

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A poster from the Environmental Justice Foundation.

Via Doug Harvey

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  1. There have been at least 2 swarms of bees that have been relocated from Santa Monica to a bee sanctuary in the past 2 weeks. The one we saw yesterday was rescued from the tail of the dinosaur fountain next to Barnes & Noble. Animal patrol was there with the area taped off and they had a bee guy in a bee suit collecting the bees.

  2. Where I live (south-eastern Australia) human beings thrived for tens of thousands of years without any species of social bees. It’s not the case that humanity must have honeybees. It is the case, though, that a lot of humanity *currently* depends on industrial agriculture and industrial agriculture depends on bees. You might even say that the honeybee (involuntarily, of course) enables industrial agriculture; the species’ demise might force into existence a far more diverse, ecological kind of food-growing, one that sustains resident pollinating insects, rather than needing them to be trucked in. (If/when that happens, the messiness of the transition period is likely to leave a lot of people hungry, and I don’t wish that on anyone, but the end result of such a transition would, I think, be a happy one (if only it could happen before it was forced to happen!). It would also be better for the honeybees themselves, who (as you know) suffer from being used the way they are to pollinate massive monocultures (where they are brought into proximity with hundreds of other colonies and their diseases and parasites and deprived of good diet).

    Really, to save the honeybees, people need to change the food system for which the honeybees are necessary – and make the honeybees relatively redundant.

    • I think there’s a middle ground–the large monocultures that depend on trucking bees around (here in California that’s almonds)–are unsustainable. What we need more of are diversified farms that support both native pollinators and honeybees.

  3. Hey, hello, howdy. Here in Los Angeles, I’ve noticed quite a number of dead bees on the sidewalks lately. I’ve followed your blog for a while now, and remember you getting rid of your citrus trees when the city did a neighborhood mandatory treatment program for the glassy winged sharpshooter. I didn’t get rid of the citrus trees in the garden, but I did remove all the blossoms from them at that time. Could the poison still be around? Also, I noticed the Carolina Jessamine vine is in bloom up the block. Wikipedia says bees visiting those flowers could be the cause of brood death. Or it could make them more hardy. Have you heard any news on either of these issues?

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